A Boy Called Dad (tbc)

Film image

The ViewAuckland Review

StarStarNo StarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner30/04/2010

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 80 mins

Well acted but ultimately disappointing British drama that gets badly derailed in the third act and never quite recovers thanks to poor direction and an overly melodramatic script.

What's it all about?
Directed by Brian Percival, A Boy Called Dad is set in The Wirral and stars newcomer Kyle Ward as 14-year-old Robbie, who becomes a reluctant father when he loses his virginity to classmate Leanne (Sacha Parkinson) in the opening scene. A chance encounter with his own estranged father, Joe (Ian Hart), leads to some gradual bonding but Robbie is furious when he discovers Joe had lied about living in Ireland and has in fact been living in Liverpool since walking out on him and his mother (Louise Delamere) when Robbie was just four years old.

When Robbie sees Leanne's thuggish boyfriend Stevie (Lee Turnbull) shouting at his baby son, he makes a snap decision that results in Stevie getting shot in the stomach and Robbie going on the run with his baby in tow.

The Good
Kyle Ward delivers an impressively naturalistic performance as Robbie – he doesn't have all that much dialogue and rarely smiles, yet his eyes speak volumes about the heavy emotional burden he's carrying around. Ian Hart is equally good as his feckless father, covering up his own emotional burdens with a steady stream of amusing one-liners (“On a clear day you can see Val Doonican”) and witty comebacks (“Do you want to be buried or cremated?” “Surprise me...”).

The Bad
Unfortunately, the film goes badly off the rails in the third act, when Robbie meets a Welsh farm girl (Charlene McKenna as Nia) who turns out to have traumatic problems of her own. The film then spirals into out-and-out melodrama, seemingly abandoning the promise of the first half of the film – it's almost as if Percival and screenwriter Julie Rutterford didn't have enough confidence that their initial story was strong enough, whereas the reality is that once Ian Hart's character disappears, the film is left floundering as a result.

Worth seeing?
In short, A Boy Called Dad is something of a disappointment, despite a promising set-up and strong performances from Ian Hart and Kyle Ward.

Be the first to review A Boy Called Dad...
 
image
01 When the Bough Breaks (tbc)

Morris Chestnut, Regina Hall, Romany Malco, Michae...

image
02 Manchester By The Sea (tbc)

Kyle Chandler, Michelle Williams, Casey Affleck

image
03 Monster Trucks (tbc)

Jane Levy, Lucas Till, Rob Lowe

image
04 Lion (tbc)

Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, Sunny Pawar

image
05 KINGSGLAIVE: FINAL FANTASY XV (tbc)

Aaron Paul, Lena Headey, Sean Bean

Content updated: 27/08/2016 01:47

Latest Film Reviews

Engage

Connect

Hitwise Award Winner